School board isn’t calculating all numbers for field remediation

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Instead of removing toxic soil from the GHS campus, the Board of Education proposes to “encapsulate” 55 acres of polluted wetlands, leaving PCBs embedded in a Greenwich residential zone forever.

This option, which requires deed restrictions on all properties found to be sitting atop the resulting PCB-contaminated ground water pool, has been promoted by BOE as “the low-cost option.” Soil encapsulation will not stop PCBs from migrating into Greenwich ground water. The only way to stop this migration is by removing the contaminated soil.

The deed restrictions proposed by BOE severely restrict all future uses of all affected properties. Some properties will become completely uninhabitable. Others will have deed restrictions preventing children from ever setting foot on them. All excavation on every deed-restricted property must first be approved by the EPA.

All federal PCB deed restrictions must be disclosed to lending institutions every time deed-restricted properties are transferred or used as collateral for a loan or mortgage. Many lending institutions will not lend money on PCB deed-restricted properties. Banks willing to make such loans charge substantially higher rates, and require special insurance against default.

Property values of PCB deed-restricted properties will plummet, in many cases to zero, if proposed BOE deed restrictions are put in place.

Pursuant to the Fifth Amendment of The United States Constitution, government entities must compensate, at fair market value, property owners whose property is condemned by government actions. In instances like this one, where the government proposes to destroy its own property and, in so doing, destroys all neighboring properties as well, this process is legally known as “inverse condemnation.”

According to Greenwich property tax assessments, the fair market value of properties deed restricted as proposed by BOE, exceeds $500,000,000. The inverse condemnation cost must be added to soil removal and encapsulation costs when calculating the total cost of “the low-cost option.”

 

Bill Effros
Greenwich

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